bookmark_borderHybrid Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses have long been a favorite by those seeking instant comfort and ease of use. A soft lens is typically larger, with the edges extending out to the white of the eye, beyond the cornea. This makes for a very comfortable lens that can be worn for many hours. One of the main drawbacks with soft lenses is that they provide soft vision. In short, the lens material is soft and relies on tears to maintain it’s consistency, the vision is prone to intermittent blur and general fuzziness.

Hard or gas permeable contact lenses take the cake when it comes to best achievable vision. Because the material is more firm, the lenses maintain their sharp optical acuity. There has never been a question that best visual acuity via a contact lens is achieved with a gas permeable lens. So what has been the drawback with conventional gas perms? The answer is comfort. Gas perm lens wearers need to go through a short adaptation period in order for the lenses to become comfortable.

Recently, hybrid contact lenses have been making a huge splash in the lens world. Hybrid lenses are composed of a gas permeable center for improved optics and a soft lens skirt for maximum comfort. But how well do these lenses merge the benefits of the two technologies together?

For starters, the gas permeable center is manufactured with a very high oxygen permeable material. In short, your corneas will breath easy even after a long day of wear. The lenses have been approved for prescriptions with up to 5 diopters of astigmatism, so they will certainly correct a wide variety of prescriptions. And with gas perm optics, many people are sure to be very happy with what they see.

How about the soft lens skirt? The skirt comes in varying curves so your eye care provider can most likely find a great fit for you. Remember, the benefit of the soft portion is comfort. In certain cases, it may also aid in lens centration which will help to improve vision.

When caring for your hybrid lens, you want to treat it like a soft lens. Soft lens cleaner and solution is highly recommended. Of course, you will want to follow the exact directions as prescribed by your eye care provider.

In most cases, hybrid contact lenses are a home run. So if you are looking for the sharpest acuity matched with the best comfort, ask your eye care provider about hybrid contact lenses.

bookmark_borderLaser Vision Correction

  • LASIK: Laser assisted in situ Keratomileusis – LASIK is a refractive laser vision correction procedure. It involves the use of a laser to reshape the cornea. A flap is cut in the outer cornea and is lifted out of place while the laser is used to reshape the cornea. The flap is then set back into place after the reshaping is complete.
  • PRK: Photorefractive keratectomy- PRK was the earliest form of laser vision correction. PRK is different from LASIK because instead of cutting a flap in the outer cornea, the outer cornea is actually removed. This means more pain and a longer healing time, but less chance of problems during healing with the cornea not healing in place correctly.
  • LASEK: Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy – Like PRK LASEK is different from LASIK because it removes the outer cornea, not cuts a flap in it. However, with LASEK the outer cornea is dissolved with a chemical solution not cut off as is done during PRK.

The main objective in all types of laser vision correction is to reshape the cornea. It is the misshapen cornea that causes vision blurriness. As you can see the differences in each type of surgery is slight, but it can mean the difference between you being a good candidate and a bad candidate for that type of laser vision correction.

Laser vision correction can only correct certain vision problems – those problems that occur due to a misshapen cornea. Those conditions are myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.

Your doctor may recommend LASIK or one of the other types of laser vision correction procedures. Sometimes, depending on your cornea and your certain medical history, one procedure may be more suitable for you then another.

Besides learning about the options in laser vision correction, you should also learn about the risks and the complications that can occur so you can make the best choice. Each type of laser vision correction is a bit different. That means the procedure, the risks and the whole process is different. It is your responsibility as the patient to make sure you understand your procedure.

bookmark_borderSoft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are made of hydrophilic plastic. As soon as they are applied, they absorb the water in the eyes and become soft and pliable. This allows them to fit perfectly in the eye. They are very popular as vision correction lenses and comfortably contour to most eyeballs without any complications.

As mentioned, lenses for people with astigmatism either due to near or far sightedness, bifocals problems, color contacts, and practically every other kind of vision correcting lenses can be found in soft contact lenses varieties. A specialized variety of soft contact lenses are also used these days to reshape the cornea during nights. This helps in giving clear vision even without the contacts during the day, but is not a permanent solution to the problem and the specialized lenses need to be worn every night for good vision the next day. Cornea reshaping helps to encounter myopia during the day.

Since most eyes can adjust to the soft contact lenses, they are definitely more popular than other types of contacts. Also, since they mold well to the eyeball, chances of dust particles getting caught and causing irritation is considerably lesser. Patients who use them find it easier to handle them while inserting and removing as they stick to the finger due to their softness.

Soft contact lenses require much care. The best option would be to use the disposable kind if the patient can afford them since they are the expensive kind in contact lenses. They must be cleaned in a sterilizing solution if they are not the disposable kind. After the soft lenses are cleaned, they must be stored in storing solution and must not be allowed to dry. In the event the lenses are not clean, they are liable to cause eye infections, irritation, and itchiness. It is suggested to choose disposable contact lenses. If the daily disposable ones are too expensive, the next option would be to change the lens at least once a week or once a month at the latest.

bookmark_borderSunglass Side Shields

The most common UV damage that eye doctors see are melanomas on the eye lids, acute eye pain, cataracts, and degenerative changes to the eye. In fact, studies have found that people who don’t wear sunglasses, exposing their eyes to UV light for hours every day, are three times at risk of developing cataracts. Fortunately, wearing a hat with a brim or sunglasses when going out on sunny days can do a lot to help protect the eyes from UV radiation.

For those who want to protect their eyes even further, there are sunglasses that come with side shields, which block UV light. You’ve undoubtedly seen these shields on the heavy dark glasses worn by older people who already have cataracts and people who have just come from an eye appointment. But sunglass side shields available for anyone who wants to wear them, either as part of some sunglasses design or as add-ons that can be attached to your existing sunglasses.

For people who wear sunglasses while playing sports or engaging in other outdoor activities, side shields offer an additional level of protection from sand, debris and other material that could get into the eye, and many shields have vents so that the lenses of the sunglasses don;’t fog up.

When buying a pair of sunglass side shields, you get what you pay for. Or, rather, you get what you don’t pay for – inexpensive sunglasses are usually not made with optical-quality glass like prescription glasses, and can cause sight problems down the road from peering through cheap glass or plastic lenses. And you should look at what the lenses are made from – for complete UV protection, the lenses should be crafted from polycarbonate or from plastic with a dye that absorbs UV radiation.

Polycarbonate plastic absorbs all UV radiation, while prescription-quality glass or plastic lenses absorb approximately 85 percent of UV radiation. But even with lenses that absorb 100 percent of UV radiation, light still can get to the eye from the tops or sides of the sunglasses, which is why side shields are an excellent idea for anyone, no matter what your age or how often you go out in the sun.

bookmark_borderDifferent Types of Dyslexia

First off, let’s see if we can clear up some of the confusion and get a clearer perspective on what the word “dyslexia” really means.

It is important to understand that there are two different schools of thought, two different ways in which the word “dyslexia”itself is used. The two different meanings of dyslexia are:

  • In the pure academic sense the word “dyslexia” has a literal meaning based on the etymology of the word itself. From its parts, ‘Dys’ means wrong or problematic (for example, as in ‘dysfunctional’) and ‘lexia’, means pertaining to words and letters. So literally, ‘dys’-‘lexia’ refers to problems with words.

In this sense, anyone who has a problem with reading, for whatever reason, has dyslexia.

  • There is a wider use and application, used by parents of dyslexics and by dyslexic adults. In the applications sense, dyslexia refers to a range of symptoms that includes problems with reading, writing and spelling plus other problems such as hearing difficulty, poor memory and a lack of physical coordination.

And so, as you can see, the exact meaning of “dyslexia” depends on who is speaking and the context in which the term is being used.

Secondly, let’s look at the different types of dyslexia..

The first attempt to subdivide and describe the different types of dyslexia was made by Marshall and Newcombe in 1973. They set forth the ideas of ‘surface’, ‘phonological’ and ‘double-deficit’ dyslexia.

The symptoms of Surface Dyslexia relate to the mistakes made where the rules of English pronunciation are inconsistent. For example, “bowl” is read as though it rhymed with “howl”, and “pretty” might be read as though it rhymed with “jetty”.

Phonological Dyslexia is a failure to grasp the phonic nature of the English language. Individuals with it have great problems reading new or nonsense words because they do not and cannot grasp the links between the individual sounds or phonemes and letters on the page.

Double-Deficit Dyslexia is the term applied to the condition of individuals who have both Surface Dyslexia and Phonological Dyslexia.

Auditory Dyslexia and Visual Dyslexia both stem from the magnocellular theory of dyslexia. This theory holds that dyslexics have neurological weaknesses in the magnocellular cells of the thalamus area of the brain. This area is where rapid processing of visual and auditory information takes place.

Many studies have shown that dyslexics do have weaknesses in their visual and auditory processing, but not to the same degree. This means that there is a very close relationship and sometime confusion between these two types of dsylexia.

A result can be that a child with poor hearing skills but with average visual skills may be diagnosed as having Auditory Dyslexia, whereas one with poor visual skills but average hearing may be diagnosed as having Visual Dyslexia.

Then finally there is Orthographic Dyslexia. Orthography is the set of symbols or letters that make up a language. In English this is the 26 letters of the alphabet whilst in Japanese or Chinese it covers thousands of different symbols. And so Orthographic Dyslexia relates to problems in identifying and manipulating letters in reading, writing and spelling.

bookmark_borderBlurry Vision in One Eye

There are several causes of blurry vision. One of them is a need for eyeglasses. If a patient suffers from myopia or hyperopia, glasses may be needed. In nearsightedness and astigmatism, objects from a distance may appear blurry but nearby objects may be clear. The blurring that happens may be more acute at night or patients may experience seeing ghostly images or double vision. Usually, those in the mid-40s develop a need for reading glasses. Another cause of blurry vision could be cataract. Most people think cataracts only occur in older people, but it can also occur in younger people. Cataracts commonly occur in people who are over 50 years of age. Symptoms that accompany blurry vision include problems with seeing at night, glare problems and color problems. While this is a cause for concern, cataracts do not cause pain or the feeling that something is stuck in the eye. Other causes may be macular edema, macular degeneration, optic neuritis and diabetes.

Blurry vision in one eye can also be traced to flu. When you’re sick, your immune system is down so you are most susceptible to infections. If you happen to be coughing as well, you might have also burst a blood vessel at the back of your eye.

You should call your doctor if you experience the following symptoms: if you see flashes in your vision, if you get the sensation that a curtain is being lowered into the part of your vision and if you have become unusually sensitive to light. Go see your doctor too if you have a foreign object lodged in your eye, if your contact lenses become uncomfortable if your blurry vision occurs right after an accident. This blurry vision may signal that you have internal bleeding or you might have fractured the bone surrounding your eye. Your doctor might recommend that you undergo laser eye surgeries or procedures that can relieve you of the discomforts you are experiencing.

bookmark_borderMaking Your Eyeglasses Photochromatic

Building Blocks

The substances responsible for photochromatic property of a lens are microcrystalline silver halides (usually silver chloride). These substances embed into glass version of lenses to make them photochromatic. Photochromatic lens contains millions of silver halides crystals. When exposed to sunlight, UV rays transform the crystals into light-absorbing particles. As these particles absorb light, the lens darkens and the amount of light passing through the lens is reduced.

When the lenses are removed from sunlight and the stimulating UV radiation is no longer present, the crystals return to their original orientation and the lenses become clear.
Plastic lenses depends upon organic photochromatic molecules for their reversible darkening. The main reason these lenses darken in the sunlight and not in indoors is that indoor does not contain ultraviolet rays. The Photochromatic lenses come back to their original color due to thermal process. Because of this reason some lenses don’t work well in hot temperatures.

More on Photochromatic lenses.

The transition lenses are today most popular photochromatic lenses. Transition lenses are manufactured by transition optical. Transitions applies a thin layer of photochromatic particles in front of the surface of lenses instead of distributing light-sensitive particles throughout the lens material. The light sensitive material penetrate lens evenly and up to depth of 0.15 millimetres.

bookmark_borderVitamins Affect Macular Degeneration

Presently, macular degeration occurs in two forms, dry and wet. Dry macular degeration occurs when the light-sensitive cells slowly break down causing gradual blurring near the central area of the eye. Over time, a person suffering with dry ARMD may experience serious central vision bluriness. Wet ARDM occurs when abnormal blood vessel are generated underneath the macula, which tend to be fragile and very weak. Due the weakness of the vessels they may leak blood, causing the macula to rise and shift from its origin. This shift usually damages the macula, which is very problematic for clear vision. Many people that suffer with this condition notice an immediate change in vision. To them, many straight objects appear wavy in nature. According to most eye care professional, they find wet ARDM a more serious condition, due to its fast and strong effect upon the eyes.

The reason why macular degeneration occurs specifically occurs in unknown. It is linked to the aging process. Many suspect that there are genetic contributory factors that make certain people pre-disposed to the condition. Some experts believe that smoking and diets rich in saturated fat can further progress the disease. Certain studies have presented statistic data demonstrating that those that smoke are 3x more likely to develop ARDM. In another study, those that had high saturated fat diets were 70% more likely to develop this condition, compared to those with low-saturated diets.

Recent research and evidence have helped eye professional with knowledge on how to help those that suffer with ARDM. If you feel, based on this information you are experience ARDM related symptoms it is strongly advised to see your local opthalmalogist or optmetrist. They can help you clearly define, if and what type of ARDM you are suffering from. Currently, ARDM is irreversible based on the clinical data stated in modern medicine. One of the most important things a person with this condition, should do is stop or minimize its progression. Medically, there are a few options to curtail the progression of ARDM through laser and radiation therapy. Currently, there are a number of success stories with both options as each technique has certain advantages.

I would like to digress from the benefits of medicine or surgery and focus on alternative medical treatments. It has been commonly found that combinational therapy with both techniques is pretty effective. According to some experts, it has been observed that antioxidants are very helpful additive for those with ARDM. Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene are most common antioxidants that help those with this condition. Research has illustrated that nutritional supplementation can prevent ARMD or minimized its progression. Many physicians, suggest to look for vitamins that are specifically made for this condition. Research has illustrated that nutritional therapy can prevent ARMD or slow its progression once established.

bookmark_borderGlaucoma Evaluation and Treatment

Routine eye exams should always include a pressure check which is the basic Glaucoma test. The most accurate way of evaluating the intraocular pressure is with the Goldman Applanation method. That requires eye drops and the use of an applanator with a cobalt blue light. The most common method is the non-contact tonometer which is the ” air puff” test. It is easy and quick, but not as accurate as the applanation. If the pressure is close to or above 21 mm, then a closer look is indicated because there is an increased chance that there may be a problem.

The next part of the exam is to look at the optic nerve. Normal nerves should have a yellowish pinkish appearance and the central cup part should not be more then 30% of the overall optic nerve. If it is and there is a vertical elongation to the cup, then additional testing must be done. Next up would be a visual field test. This involves following a light and using ones’ peripheral vision to see other spots. This evaluates the neurological integrity of the nerve. If there are glaucomatous field and nerve changes then there will first be an increase in the natural blind spot followed by arcuate “scotomas” or blind areas surrounding the central vision. These are clear indications of a positive diagnosis of Glaucoma. Confirmation of the disease is made with a GDX, which is an instrument that actually maps out the optic nerve changes and spots areas that are in danger.

There are several types of Glaucoma, the most common type being Chronic Open Angle. There is also a Narrow Angle type which is most common in farsighted patients. Diseases like Diabetes can cause the disorder as well by increasing blood vessel growth into the angle that drains the fluid from the eye. That is most dangerous and is called Neovascular Glaucoma and follows Rubeosis which is blood vessel growth in the iris of the eye. Trauma can cause the disease by recessing the iris resulting in scar tissue. That is called Angle Recession Glaucoma. Finally, there is Pigmentary Glaucoma which results from pigment leaching out of the iris and blocking the drainage area. This has a very strong genetic component and is the most difficult to treat.

The key issue with Glaucoma evaluation is to know the signs of early disease and treating it appropriately. All too often the early signals are missed and damage to the nerve occurs. The increase in pressure results in a decrease in blood flow to the nerve resulting in death to the tissue. Thus, the new treatment methods focus on vascular sparing to keep the blood flowing to the nerve. As a practitioner, even questionable pressures or optic nerves should be tested further and we must not assume that things are normal. Proper follow up is a must and patient compliance must be carefully evaluated.

bookmark_borderPink Eye – Conjunctivitis

What causes Pink Eye – Conjunctivitis: Pink Eye is is usually caused by either bacteria or viruses. Numerous types of bacteria can cause Pink Eye (conjunctivitis) but the most common are Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus. Viral conjunctivitis is common with several viral infections, most often with infections caused by adenoviruses or enteroviruses, and can occur during a cold or the flu. Parasites and fungal infections have been known to cause conjunctivitis, but this is in rare cases.

Allergic conjunctivitis occurs more frequently among children with allergies such as hay fever. Allergic conjunctivitis often occurs in both eyes at the same time. Irritant conjunctivitis can be caused by such chemicals as chlorine or air pollutants such as smoke and fumes. A blocked tear duct can cause Conjunctivitis to occur in babies younger than 4 weeks old , which can be treated by gentle massage between the eye and nasal area.

Symptoms Of Pink Eye – Conjunctivitis: Increased Watering of the eye(s) or discharge, Swollen eyelids, Eye Pain, Redness and itching in the eyes, Gritty or sand feeling in the eyes, sometimes there is also a sensitivity to light.

Treatment For Pink Eye – Conjunctivitis: Doctors don’t usually prescribe medication for Pink Eye, because it usually goes away on it’s own within a few days. You must take some precauctions though with family members since Pink Eye can very easily spread to others. Wash your hands often and and don’t touch or rub your eyes. Don’t share washcloths, towels or other linens with others, and wash items after each use. Don’t share cosmetics, eyedrops or other products that you apply on, in or near the eyes, and replace them with new items after you’re healed, to avoid re-infection.